Next Saturday, approximately one hundred and fifty children will experience a very special day in their lives. It is the day on which they will be making their First Holy Communion (Eucharist) at Saint Brigid. Our Catechism teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. When we receive the Lord in the Eucharist, it is an act of thanksgiving to God. It recalls the Lord’s Supper with his Apostles. The Eucharist is essential to the communal dimension of our faith. It is the nourishment that enables us to remain spiritually strong and healthy.
Pope Francis refers to the Eucharist as a gift. He reminds us about how important the Eucharist is to our faith journey. He encourages us to receive the Eucharist as a family as often as possible if we are so disposed and in the state of grace. Our Holy Father spoke to a group of children in Italy as he recalled his First Holy Communion many years ago. He addressed the children and stated, “You will make your First Communion, always remember that day your whole life: the first day that Jesus came to us. He comes, makes himself one with us, makes himself our food, our nourishment to give us strength.”
As we reflect on these words of Pope Francis, we can give thanks for all the teachers, relatives, and friends of these children who have helped prepare them for First Holy Communion, and who assist them in their future growth in faith through their prayers and actions. We especially thank the parents who are the primary educators of the children in the ways of the faith.
The following “PRAYER AT A CHILD’S FIRST COMMUNION” is a prayer for those children preparing for their First Holy Communion and reflects our great appreciation of the Eucharist:
Lord Jesus Christ, bless the children coming forward to receive Holy Communion for the first time.
May this day be the step toward a life-long love of the Eucharist.
Give them a hunger for this sacred food so that they turn to you for comfort, guidance, and wisdom as they grow into full discipleship.
Thank you for their innocence and goodness.
May their hands, extended in anticipation of your body and blood, inspire all of us to cherish this sacred Sacrament. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, we invite you to join us next Saturday for this sacred and reverent celebration.